Strawbale House

This blog is intended to chart our progress through the self-build process, from half-hearted plot-hunting through to completion of the build. The twist is that we're building the house from timber and straw (hence the blog title).

Click on the image at the end of each post to see that day's photos.

Saturday, 22 September 2007

September 21st - Windows!

Happy birthday to me
Happy birthday to me.
Infact it was - a real cracker. My 40th, and the best birhday I can remember (although since I can't remember further back than about March, this isn't saying an awful lot!)
Fortified by a bacon-and-eggs breakfast (an annual treat, and one not spoiled this year by Oscar sitting in it), I went with Anna to Melrose to sit in wonder while Ellie performed a solo (singing) at her school assembly, then headed to the plot. Mal has finally finished at Foulden, so the dream-team is once again a unit. Polished off a few bits and bobs of sheeting and wiring and Melvin built me some scaffold before lunch, then we got cracking with window installation. I was keen to get the big windows and patio doors in the east all while we had sufficient muscle-power on site - Mal and Melvin are off next week.
We started with the outward opening pation doors that lead from the dining area to the verandah (or at least they will when we've built the verandah). Pretty straight-forward, thanks to Mal's expert building of the main frame of the house. The aperture was square, plumb and generously sized, so there was no messing about to get the frame in position. We fitted it with the heavy double-glazed doors removed then hung them in the frame and Melvin (the mechanical engineer on the job) assembled the fiddly and slightly weird Swedish locking mechanism.
Next were the two huge 1200 x 2100mm (4ft x 7ft) triple-glazed fixed windows that sit side-by-side and look out from the living room over the verndah and stream to the hills. Heavy big buggers these, but again the installation was trouble-free.
The effect inside is marvellous - a lovely big picture window with a stunning view to Hownam Law. Even Mal, from whom praise is like blood from a stone, commented that they are "pretty damn spiffy - a good choice". I basked happliy in this priase until Anna claimed that they were actually her choice. This could well be true, but I have no way of knowing (see earlier comment regarding my memory).
Farmer Neil had a contractor in for the day, putting up a wire fence around our field at the back of the house, which is Anna's domain. She was very excited. She probably reckons this means she can now buy a placid replacement for the homicidal horse she's just off-loaded.
There is a looming battle with Scottish Power, and another with Scottish Water regarding connection to the house. Neil paid for provision of both services to plot-side six months ago, and has given up chasing them as he has no hair left to tear out. There's a very real possibility that the house will be finished before we have either power or water - or a warrant, for that matter! Bloody bureaucrats.


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